Here’s our special Christmas edition of our regular new music round-up! Featuring a whole host of Country and Americana tracks to light up any Christmas playlist!
As Christmas approaches, there’s always a raft of new recordings of old favourites and brand new songs to discover. We take some of the effort out of things as we bring you a diverse bunch of tracks from artists including Wade Bowen, Charles Esten, Tara Thompson, Brandy Clark, Devin Dawson, Los Lobos and more.
Wade Bowen – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Taken from Wade’s new Christmas album Twelve Twenty-Five which features a whole load of seasonal covers. Forgoing the temptation to mimic the toy piano intro of Mariah Carey’s original version, Texan Bowen’s cover sets its stall with a rickety, clackety percussive beat under stabbed piano chords before opening with his distinctive vocal.
Charles Esten – On The Road To Bethlehem
The Bible story of Christmas as written from the perspective of Joseph as he and Mary travel to Bethlehem, looking back on how they came to be there in the first place. The Gospel’s aren’t loaded with insight into Joseph, and Esten gives voice to an often overlooked character in this quiet, thoughtful acoustic number.
Tara Thompson – Christmas Eve
Tara is related to Loretta Lynn, but has a sound that closer to Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves. Her album Hillbilly Christmas is a set of mostly original songs all of which she co-wrote – the one exception being Blue Christmas, which she also name checks in Christmas Eve.
Chris Janson – Run Run Rudolph (Live)
The Chuck Berry classic as performed by Chris at the CMA Country Christmas 2019 show. Is it just us, or do the characters in that video look more menacing than merry?
Brandy Clark (Featuring Charlie Worsham) – Merry Christmas Darling
A perennial favourite given a brush down by Brandy whose clear, bright voice suits the song to a tee. Charlie Worsham lends guitar and harmony vocal to the blend. It’s a very listenable update to a much loved popular song.
Jarrod Dickenson – Shopping Mall Santa’s Lament
If you find the barrage of traditional Christmas songs to be a bit sugary and cloying, here’s an alternative view. If there’s a sliding scale for Santa Claus bookings, the shopping mall gig is not exactly top-drawer. Jarrod takes a wry, sideways look at the season of smelly uniforms, pulled beards and, erm…, damp laps.
Kacey Musgraves – Glittery
Taken from Kacey’s 2019 Christmas TV special, there’s much more of a “Pageant Material” than “Golden Hour” sound to this track. Its quite wholesome, almost innocent sound is perhaps a little bit twee but Kacey definitely makes it work.
Laura Oakes – The Ones We Had To Leave Behind
WARNING! Anyone who has ever lost anyone close to them will know how challenging Christmas and the New Year can be – especially that first year. If that’s you, then this song is for you – but have a tissue ready, because all the feels are here in a lyric that captures the poignancy and conflicting emotions of this time of year.
Cam – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Gentle, tender rendition of a Christmas classic. Everything is kept very simple – the establishing organ chords, piano melody, the soft choral backing – on an arrangement that rightly never threatens to get “big”.
Home Free (Featuring Rachel Wammack) – Tennessee Christmas
There’s something about acapella at Christmas, isn’t there? Rachel Wommack adds effectively to the Home Free boy’s regular mix to this old Amy Grant song from way back in 1983.
Maddie & Tae – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Delightful harmonies as you’d expect from a duo who always deliver. Another classic seasonal song, with just subtle chord variations to make it “theirs”.
The Oak Ridge Boys – Reindeer on the Roof
Wondering what that noise is on Christmas Eve night? Shhh, it could be reindeers on the roof! Richard Sterban’s deep, resonant bass takes the lead vocal over a honky tonk piano. Check out the boys’ album Down Home Christmas.
Devin Dawson – Christmas Time Is Here
A song written originally for a Charlie Brown animated TV special back in the 60’s. A very relaxed, slightly jazzy waltz time rhythm with a matching, laid back delivery from Devin. Nice.
Dylan Scott – The Christmas Song
The Christmas Song is one of the most well known, non-religious Christmas songs and of course has been recorded literally thousands of times in many different styles. Dylan Scott keeps the traditional feel, in line with much of his Merry Christmas album.
Keith Urban – I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight
Trapped alone by a snowstorm together with Keith Urban is probably some people’s dream Christmas. Unless you’re Nicole Kidman it’s not gonna happen, so you’ll just have to console yourselves with this.
Thomas Rhett – Christmas In The Country
We can definitely see this becoming an enduring seasonal favourite. It squeezes in a whole load of regular country tropes – a two lane, a front porch, even a John Deere – while putting a Christmas twist on it all, with bells on (sleigh bells, of course). Strikes all the right notes.
Tenille Townes – One In A Million
Such a unique voice as Tenille Townes seems wholly appropriate for a song comparing a “one in a million” lover to the uniqueness of each individual snowflake. A dreamy arrangement perfect for a quiet, Christmas night in.
Los Lobos – ¿Dónde Está Santa Claus?
Put a little Tex-Mex in your Christmas with this playful little number with a slinky, syncopated latin rhythm. Cesar Romero growls as he waits for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.